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Amid tensions, China invites N Korean officials for talks
February 28, 2017, 2:28 pm

China has warned the US not to exacerbate tensions on the Korean Peninsula by deploying advanced anti-missile batteries in South Korea [Image: Archives]

China has invited North Korean officials to Beijing to discuss bilateral ties and the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Kil Song, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The invitation comes a day after China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi met with US President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor HR McMaster at the White House.

China had previously expressed its frustration with the North Korean leadership and condemned Pyongyang’s latest missile launch, which it said clearly violated UN Security Council resolutions, but Beijing also called for calm and urged Japan, South Korea and the US not to take any actions that could exacerbate the situation.

China had also condemned Washington’s expected deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, in South Korea as a response to Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile tests.

As one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world, THAAD can intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or just outside the atmosphere during their final phase of flight. This will lead to a new arms race in the Asia-Pacific region, China and Russia say.

Last week, in a bid to pressure Pyongyang to back away from its ballistic missile tests and Security Council violations, China banned coal imports from North Korea.

Pyongyang-based media lashed out at China, saying it was doing Washington’s bidding.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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